The first segment opens with a well-known hoax video of a pretended UFO allegedly filmed over Jerusalem in 2011. The video is a fake, and Ancient Aliens pretends to find mystery in fiction out of laziness. The show alleges that the non-existent UFO was trying to connect with the Ark. This leads to a potted history of the Ark similar to that in the older episode. This leads to a discussion of the claim that the Ark was a technological device powered by electricity. The claim, popularized by Erich von Däniken In Chariots of the Gods, originated in eighteenth century speculative theology. The show repeats its false claim that the Ark was nuclear powered and gave people near it radiation poisoning.
Afterward, the show delves into questions about where the Ark went after its disappearance. The discussion is basically identical to the final two segments of the earlier Ark episode.
As is traditional in History channel shows, a Knights Templar conspiracy must be discussed. Here, it is the claim, often seen in Scott Wolter’s shows but also discussed on Ancient Aliens previously, that the Templars recovered the Ark of the Covenant from beneath the Temple Mount and transported it to France, where we hear that all the nobles in Europe knew about their success and somehow no one spoke a word of it. The show claims that Chartres Cathedral held the Ark and announced it with an inscription stating the Ark was hidden there. The inscription in question is actually a caption for a biblical scene of the Ark being hidden in the Temple of Dagon from 1 Samuel 6. The show then dips into Christian sacrilege and alleges that the propaganda against the Templars claiming that they communicated with the demon Baphomet was actually eyewitness testimony of the Ark of the Covenant. To make that claim work, the show falsifies Catholic anti-Templar tracts that describe a severed head with glowing eyes to make the head into the two cherubim atop the Ark. The claim is so divorced from actual medieval texts that it is pointless even to discuss a total, fictional fantasy.
The next segment pursues the typical lies about the Templars. They repeat the false claim that the Templars took off in a fleet of 18 ships the night before the king of France suppressed the order, and they attribute the claim to Vatican records, which they say describe the ships traveling to Scotland. They do not. The actual record, which I translated from the Vatican Secret Archive, is very different than the false claim. The show returns to the electric/radioactive Ark claim and alleges that the Templars gave the Ark to the Sinclair family to deposit in Rosslyn Chapel. This claim, which does not exist prior to modern times, is a euhemerized version of actual medieval legends, which associated the chapel with supernatural power such as ghost lights, and nineteenth century associations between the chapel and Freemasonry, which is falsely claimed to descend from the Knights Templar.
The fourth segment recounts the extremely familiar claim that the Ark rests in Axum in Ethiopia. I’ve written about this claim so many times, it isn’t worth repeating. Hugh Newman claims that the guardians of the Ark die of radiation poisoning, though this is not true. The guardians of the Ark have been old men and managed not to die with nearly the frequency you would expect from radiation poisoning, which does not take decades to do its work.
The fifth segment rehearses the familiar story of Tudor Parfitt, who claimed that the Lemba tribe in Africa were the descendants of the Jews who spirited the Ark of the Covenant out of Israel, and their sacred drum is a substitute for the original Ark they once possessed. In 2007, Parfill identified the remains of a carved wooden drum in Zimbabwe called the Ngoma Lungundu as a replica of the original ark, made from a piece of its original wood. He doesn’t explain where the gold went. Although the show refuses to acknowledge it, African scholars, particularly those in Zimbabwe, have blasted Parfitt’s claims, alleging that he is attempting a colonialist project to impose a white story on a product of African culture that has nothing to do with white people. Parfitt argues that the Lemba carry Semitic genes not found in other sub-Saharan African groups, which I suppose is plausible, given that Ethiopia had its own Jewish tribe descended from Jews who migrated south long ago. That doesn’t mean that they had the Ark, even if they maintained the tradition of the Ark, as the Ethiopian Jews and later Christians did. Unfortunately, follow-up studies found no support for the claim that the Lemba descended from ancient Israelites, so the show simply omits this.
The final segment discusses the Temple Mount’s myths under the three major Abrahamic faiths. The talking heads recap the episode and Giorgio Tsoukalos says that the Ark is the most important ancient alien artifact because it was a “physical” object. So what was everything else in their “theory” made from? Fantasy and fairy dust?
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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